WIRED News has written up an excellent story based on the very themes of Google Maps Mania. The article talks about how the open nature of the Google Maps code is spawning many ideas and "hacks":
Hey Google, Map This!
02:00 AM May. 16, 2005 PT
These simple but powerful hacks are not exactly authorized. Google has not offered software tools and licensing terms for developers to work with its mapping engine and data. But the hacks nevertheless offer a compelling glimpse of what's possible when online data plays well together -- a major goal of internet-standards initiatives such as XML that, for the most part, are still a work in progress.
But Stewart Butterfield, a Flickr co-founder, said he thinks Google Maps is a natural service for tech-savvy developers to want to use as the basis for experimentation.
"The main reason we're seeing it mashed up is that the implementation is eminently hackable, whereas few other similar services are," said Butterfield. "If you're a developer with a neat idea for mapping stuff, Google Maps is perfect, because all the data is accessible."
(Read the full story)